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Federal Lawsuit Filed Challenging Constitutionality of Cannabis Prohibition

Former New York Jets defensive end Marvin Washington is one of five plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions which challenges the constitutionality of cannabis’ Schedule I designation under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, the New York Post reports. Other plaintiffs listed in the suit alongside Washington include 11-year-old Alexis Bortell, who uses medical cannabis to treat epilepsy, and Jose Belen, a military vet who uses medical cannabis therapies to control post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

“Classifying cannabis as a ‘Schedule I drug’ is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution,” the suit contends.

Michael Hiller, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the suit, said, “the record makes clear that the CSA doesn’t make any rational sense and the federal government knows it.”

Washington is suing the government because the CSA is preventing him from securing federal grants to open a business that would allow professional football players to use medical cannabis instead of opioid-based drugs for pain management.

The Justice Department Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety is expected to release a report next week that many advocates fear will try to link cannabis with violent crime, according to a report from The Hill. Sessions has previously asked Congress to oppose language of the Rohrabacher-Blumenaur amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to interfere with state-approved cannabis programs.

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Authored By

TG is a journalist by trade and has been covering cannabis industry news for Ganjapreneur.com since 2014. He is also the host of the Ganjapreneur.com Podcast and currently lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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